Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

April 6, 2014

Neighborhood guide: Sharpsville maintains tight-knit population

Small town proud of its past, hopeful for the future

(Continued)

From the annual fish fry for the fire department, to special community events, like the recent fundraiser for the family of Tri-Central Middle School assistant principal Anne-Marie Bailey, when there’s something big going on, the whole town gets together.

The town’s park, on land where the high school once stood, is immaculate, and next to it, the old O.H. Hughes Memorial Gym, built in 1926, is a true architectural treasure.

When people from outside the state think of the movie Hoosiers, the Hughes gym is the kind of place they imagine, with its wooden block bleachers rising a foot from the out-of-bounds line, the light streaming in from the glass architectural bricks, and the stage behind the south basket.

The town is compact, with about 280 homes sitting on the north side of Broad Creek, bounded on three sides by farm fields and centered around one main street. The Sharpsville United Methodist Church’s red brick steeple is the tallest structure in town.

They take care of things in Sharpsville.

In the town history published for Sharpsville’s sesquicentennial, there’s a note: “1967 – Train station razed, by Ed Odle, Tipton.”

It gives the distinct impression that an outrage had been committed, and by a Tiptonite, no less.

Running the town

If the affable Rood is the town’s “good cop,” town council president Linda Smeltzer might be the tough cop.

Drive around the town (it takes five minutes), and it’s hard to find a property which hasn’t been kept up, even though Rood estimates 30 families moved out during the recession and the number of rentals increased.

One property out toward the Tri-Central schools looks in need of paint, but Rood explains that it was used in a movie shoot, and hasn’t yet been restored.

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